“I commend Mayor Bloomberg for outlining a positive vision for New York City’s future and the most important part of building that future, our students. The State and City’s education system is facing a crisis in accountability and performance. Our continuing pattern of being number one in the nation on spending in education and thirty-eighth in graduation rates hurts our students across the State, including the over 1.1 million public school students in New York City.
As I said in my State of the State Address, and Mayor Bloomberg reiterated in his State of the City today, we need an education system that puts students first. Both the Mayor and I agree that this starts with implementing a teacher evaluation system that holds teachers accountable for their performance. I look forward to working together to create an accountability system that puts the interests of students ahead of the interests of the education bureaucracy."
Now here's the NYSUT on two recent surveys - one by the Gates Foundation-funded ED WEEK and one by the business cable network CNBC - that both found New York State was NOT experiencing an education crisis:
“Ed Week’s ‘Quality Counts’ report once again recognizes the successes achieved by New York’s hard-working and dedicated educators,” said New York State United Teachers President Richard C. Iannuzzi. “While there is much work that still needs to be done, this ranking, right up there with the best, validates what has already been achieved.”
“Quality Counts” was released the day after the announcement of two other indicators that public education in New York is on the right track:
- CNBC issued a report showing that education in New York was tops in the nation in 2011. The television network, which specializes in business reporting, looked at the state’s educated pool of workers; colleges and universities; research and development partnerships; and K-12 schools as a quality of life issue for employees.
- More than 100 students from across the state were named semi-finalists in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search, the nation’s most prestigious pre-college science competition. New York students represent approximately one-third of all the semi-finalists.
“Educators in New York are committed to ensuring that our children succeed,” said NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira. “These rankings — presented without the taint of politics or ideology — demonstrate that, despite what some naysayers claim, we’re doing a good job and the students in our state are the benefactors. It’s time we start celebrating our schools.”
Two of those naysayers - Bloomberg and Cuomo - are gunning for teachers in general and unionized teachers in particular.
They have ginned up this "education crisis" in order to promote their corporate agenda - bust the teachers unions, fire unionized teachers, close traditional public schools, reopen them as non-unionized charters with with a workforce that can be fired at will and hand hundreds of millions of profits to their cronies like Rupert Murdoch.
It's that simple.
It's a shame that the corporate media will ignore the ED WEEK and CNBC findings and instead run with the mayor's attack on teachers and Cuomo's concurrence that there is a crisis of accountability in the school system.
There IS a crisis of accountability in New York all right - but that's at the leadership level where failed policies like merit pay, charter schools and teacher evaluations tied to test scores are promoted as the answer to an alleged education crisis that exists only in the public statements of the oligarchs looking to finish off privatizing the school system.